Mitt Romney’s comments on NBC’s “Meet the Press” over the weekend that he doesn’t plan to repeal all of President Obama’s signature health care plan and that there are a number of initiatives he likes in the Affordable Care Act that he would keep is drawing sharp criticism from Liberty Republicans—who made up the majority of Minnesota delegation to the recent Republican National Convention and cast 33 of the state’s 40 delegate votes for Ron Paul.
“Romney’s statement that he intends to replace ObamaCare with his own plan validates the Liberty Republican position that the general election is simply a contest of ‘my big government is better than your big government,’” Marianne Stebbins, an Excelsior resident and chair of Minnesota delegation to the RNC, said. “The Liberty Republican position is a Republican president should be taking about how we move away from government plans to a free-market health care system, not cherry picking bits and pieces of one big government plan to create another big government plan.”
Stebbins went on to say that cherry picking bits and pieces of "ObamaCare" compromises the fundamental principle of individual liberty and endorses the "un-republican and extra-constitutional notion that government has the authority and the ability to manage individual health care decisions."
"Government power is like Tolkien’s One Ring that controls them all,” she said. “Romney believes that unlike an ‘evil’ Obama, he can use the absolute power of government to create a ‘good’ health care plan. Liberty Republicans know better. We know power corrupts. The Republican objective should not be winning the election so Romney can impose his idea of ‘good’ on the American people. A Republican Romney should be about winning the election so he can throw the One Ring of government power into the fire of the Constitution."
Craig Westover was among Minnesota's delegates to the recent RNC in Tampa. He was elected a delegate at the MNGOP state convention and ran openly as a Ron Paul supporter.
“Romney’s position confirms what Liberty Republicans have been saying for some time," Westover said. "The most significant debate in American politics today is not between the Democrat and Republican candidates for President—the most significant debate in American politics today is taking place within the Republican Party. The most significant debate in American Politics is between a genuine belief in individual liberty and limited government and exploiting liberty and limited government as expedient talking points.”
Westover said Democrats are saying they can manage the economy and individual lives better than the market and individuals can and Republicans are arguing they can manage the economy and individual lives better than Democrats can.
"The facts are it is not a constitutional function of the President and Congress to manage the economy, and the President and Congress cannot effectively manage an economy determined by tens of millions of individuals making hundreds of millions individual choices every day,” Westover said.
Both Westover and Stebbins said many Liberty Republicans have committed to support the endorsed Republican candidate, but stressed that "loyal support" includes making it known when the candidate drifts from republican principles.
"A Republican candidate should not be talking about replacing one government plan with another—a Republican candidate should be talking about replacing a government plan with a free market approach to health care that puts health care decisions in the hands of individuals and their doctors," Stebbins said. “We live better when we live free. Romney’s position of cherry-picking ObamaCare is neither living better nor living free. It is not a republican position.”